“Dating Game Killer” Rodney Alcala, 77, died of natural causes on Saturday while awaiting a death sentence in a California prison. Pictured on his deathbed
Convicted serial killer Rodney Alcala, 77, died of natural causes at 1:43 a.m. Saturday at a California hospital, according to California prison officials.
He was awaiting a death sentence in Corcoran State Prison.
Alcala was convicted of murdering seven women in the 1970s, five of them in California and two in New York. His youngest murder victim was just 12 years old, whom he kidnapped while on her way to ballet practice in Los Angeles in 1979.
He was later nicknamed “the Dating Game Killer” and was known for biting the naked bodies of his deceased victims before photographing them in sexually explicit poses.
He has been linked to more than 130 deaths of women and children, although his exact number of victims is unknown.
Alcala appeared as Bachelor Number One on the show and won the affections of bachelorette Cheryl Bradshaw
Alcala pictured at his third trial in the early 2000s after appealing his murder charge in the death of a 12-year-old girl
Alcala’s first known crime occurred in 1968, when an eyewitness called the police after he lured an eight-year-old girl named Tali Shapiro to his Hollywood apartment.
When the police arrived, they found Talia alive, but she had been raped and brutally beaten with a steel rod and lay in a pool of her own blood.
Having fled the scene, Alcala later left the state to enroll at NYU to study film with Roman Polanski, using the pseudonym “John Berger.”
In June 1971, 23-year-old TWA flight attendant Cornelia Michel Crilley was raped and strangled in her Manhattan apartment. Her death would remain unsolved until 2011 when DNA evidence linked Alcala to the murder.
In the meantime, Alcala was placed on the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives list that same year. He was arrested within months after children at a New Hampshire art camp where he worked as a counselor recognized his image on a wanted poster.
He was extradited back to California to face trial for attempted murder, but Shapiro’s parents refused to let the girl testify at the trial and he later pleaded guilty to a lower charge of assault, leaving him on probation in 1974 after just 17 months. was released.
During the episode, Bradshaw had asked questions like, “What’s your best time?” and ‘I’ll serve you for dinner. What’s your name and what do you look like?’ Alcala responded to the last question by answering: ‘I am called the banana and I look good’
Bradshaw eventually chose Alcala at the end of the show, but she later withdrew from their scheduled date — tennis lessons and a trip to Magic Mountain — because he made her feel uncomfortable.
Alcala, who billed himself as a professional fashion photographer and reportedly has an IQ of over 160, convinced hundreds of young men and women to pose for him naked for his “portfolio.”
He would also often lure his murder victims in the same way, before strangling them until they passed out. When they awoke again, he began torturing them by raping and beating them within an inch of their lives.
Alcala would then kill them, often by strangulation, then rearrange their limbs into explicit positions and photograph their naked bodies.
He was finally detained for the last time in 1979, after the murder of 12-year-old Robin Samsoe.
Alcala reportedly met blonde-haired Samsoe on the beach in Los Angeles with her friend Bridget Wilvurt and approached them.
Bridget later explained, “He picked us up, like a shark in the water…and he says, ‘Can I take the pictures of your girls?’ … And Robin says, “Of course.”‘
Alcala later left the girls alone, but Robin later rode her bicycle to a ballet studio where she had to practice.
She never showed up and no one ever saw her alive again.
Samsoe was on her way to ballet class when she was kidnapped
Georgia Wixted, 27, was a registered nurse whose bruised and battered body was found on the floor of her studio apartment in Malibu near her brass bed on December 16, 1977.
The American serial killer is believed to be linked to crimes in New York, Washington, San Francisco and Wyoming
Alcala assembled a collection of more than 1,000 photos of women and teenage girls and boys, many in sexually explicit poses.
As part of their investigation, researchers found hundreds of photos of young boys and girls in a storage unit rented by Alcala in Seattle.
Some were released in 2010 by the Huntington Beach Police Department over fears that the individuals pictured may have been even more cold case victims of unsolved disappearances or murders.
Also among the photos were an array of trophies from some of his victims, such as jewelry, including a pair of gold earrings that matched the description of the earrings Robin was wearing the day she disappeared.
Four years after he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, he appealed his case and won a new trial. He was later tried and convicted again, and received the death penalty for the second time.
He launched a second successful appeal in 2001 and went to court for a third time.
When prosecutor Matt Murphy took the case in 2003, he re-examined the evidence found in Alcala’s locker for DNA.
Alcala was incarcerated at Corcoran State Prison as his execution was indefinitely postponed due to a moratorium on the death penalty imposed by the California State in 2019
Police believe he may be linked to 130 murders of women and children, but the exact number of his victims is unknown
Some of the DNA unearthed matched that of four other women who were found dead or disappeared in the 1970s, confirming that Alcala is a serial killer.
One of the victims was 19-year-old Jill Barcomb, whose body was found by the side of a Los Angeles road in 1977, with a disfigured face and ligatures around her neck.
Alcala was also found to have murdered 27-year-old nurse Georgia Wixted, who was found naked and assaulted in Malibu in 1977; Charlotte Lamb, whose body was found strangled and raped in June 1978 in an apartment complex miles from her home; and Jill Parenteau, a 21-year-old college student who was found raped and murdered in her bedroom in June 1979.
Alcala was convicted of the 2010 murders of those women, then 66, and sentenced to death.
He later pleaded guilty to two more New York City murders in 1977 and 1978, and was later charged in 2016 with the murder of Christine Thornton in the summer of 1977. He denies murdering Thornton.